The film is based on the second book from the Adventures of Erast Petrovich Fandorin series of novels written by the Russian author Boris Akunin. The film takes place in 1877 during the ... See full summary »
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The film is based on the second book from the Adventures of Erast Petrovich Fandorin series of novels written by the Russian author Boris Akunin. The film takes place in 1877 during the Russian-Turkish war. Erast Fandorin has just escaped from Turkish prison and is trying to get on the Russian side as soon as possible to give important information about the upcoming attack of the enemy. On his way he meets Varvara Suvorova, a young lady who is going to see her fiancée - a soldier of the Russian army. Erast also knows that there is a spy somewhere in the Russian army, everyone is under suspicion... Written by
I have to disagree with some of the comments on this movie, judging the movie by some different criteria.
Firstly, the plot line idea of this motion picture is not as irrational as it may appear to some of us. this film was based on a novel that served a purpose to provide its readers a war-romance-conspiracy adventure. It is not very much different from the American "Patriot" story where a greater salad has been composed, with pretty trite issues thrown around. Beside that, to support the illusive reality of the Turkish war presented in this film - we are not very familiar with the general atmosphere during the 19th century wars, but there are things that simply called: War routine. Of course there is blood and gore and death on the front lines of the battles. Surely there is a lot of strategy going on behind the scenes. But even during these climax moments, and mostly in-between those there was always a place for some dramatic drawbacks, singing in the club and even relationships between young Russian soldiers and coffee drinking in Plevna. Wars are not always fought in face to face battles. And a very large part in deciding who wins the fight is the strategy and the information you gather about your enemy. Which was what the story concentrated on. The spies.
Moreover, I did not like the acting. Sometimes it was exaggerated and underplayed in some places. The best acting in this movie on my scale was that of the "Gusar" officer - so typically presenting the character. The leading roles could have been performed better.
And lastly: the sound. What is it with the Russian cinema that I can never get a normal sound feature? They put the theme on top of the dialogues, the battle effects lack intensity, the speech is incomprehensible. When Turkish is spoken, the Russian translation starts after a little delay, which makes it really difficult to hear. They don't mute the environment when it is needed, and the explosion sounds still have the usual echo-shrieking effect. Alas! indeed.
Overall, once the viewer can get himself to connect to the plot, to enter the minds of both the Turkish and the Russian combatants and to merge with the general 19th war atmosphere - it is possible to simply sit back and enjoy this movie as another spy-adventure. Was tempted to give it an 8, but settled on 7.
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